2017 A to Z: Letter F… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter F…

I thought I’d change up the ongoing 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories and write  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the April A to Z, but as I might get just a wee bit long-winded, I thought I’d give myself a longer time frame. Hopefully, by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!



Letter F finds…. Family, Fads, Farm, Fishing, and Flowers


Being an only child, my family was just the three of us. My mother had no siblings, as her only brother, Leroy, had been killed in the war. My father had one brother, but he lived in North Carolina so I don’t remember many get together’s. We spent many weekends with cousins in Macon who had three children… they were the closest family to me. Whenever we went to my grandparents, there was no other family around and I have no memories of spending holidays with any of them. My memories of family holidays are so vague that I feel like I must have slept through all the holidays.

Family pic in color (800x717)

Daddy, Mama and me. I’m sure mama dragged us there!

My family memories I remember are more since I married, as my husband has a large family of cousins, aunts, and uncles who always gathered for holidays. They are who I remember more for family events.

Christmas Eve’s were the best when I married. We visited both grandmother’s on that night and each household was lively with family. When the kids were small, the presents were piled high under the tree and once they began opening, paper and ribbon went flying. The kids scrambled to open their presents so fast, we hardly knew who gave what. Christmas Eve’s are different today as it’s just my family, but with both children married, I have five granddaughters who keep things lively and are quite good themselves at ripping open Christmas presents.


Let’s see… what fads have I lived through: Hula Hoops, the London “mod” look in clothing brought the hippy clothes of bell bottom pants, tie-dye clothing, especially when the Beatles came to America, wide belts, black and white shoes, which I called Be-Bops, mama called hers saddle shoes, pantsuits, mini-skirts, go-go boots… especially made famous by Nancy Sinatra’s song, “These Boots are made for walking.” Every time I hear it, I’m reminding of how much my father liked that song. I have a feeling he didn’t like the song so much as watching Nancy sing it!

Pantsuits…. all the rage!

Pantsuits came in-style while I was in high school, and for the first time ever in school… we were finally allowed to wear pants instead of dresses. Yoo Hoo! I think I owned a pantsuit in every color! While I hate clothes shopping now, I loved shopping as a teenager. My girlfriend and I often headed to the dressing room loaded with arms full of clothes when we went shopping… Sears and K-Mart had the best selections. So happy they aren’t in style anymore, and while I didn’t keep even one, I do have several photos of me wearing them!

Make-up was very popular when I was a teenager, and I had every color mascara that was on the market; wearing Blue and Green mascara and eyeliner was all the rage. I also was quite an expert in applying false eyelashes, but when it came to fake nails…. well I’ve always been a nail-biter. I remember gluing on fake nails one night, but halfway there, I pulled over and ripped them right off; I couldn’t drive with those long nails!

I never had pierced ears as a teenager, but I pierced them myself after I married with one of those “do it yourself” piercing kits that were very popular. Why I didn’t want to just go get them pierced… well I don’t know, guess I was afraid it would hurt. So you pry open this earring instead, and attach it on your earlobe, and let it slowly push its way through your ear – it hurt. Well eventually I had pierced ears, but very seldom wear them today; one ear always gets sore after I wear earrings, so I’ve pretty much given them up; I’m not a jewelry wearer like I used to be. My favorite pieces of jewelry to wear was always rings… remember the mood rings that turned colors to supposedly reflect your mood! The one ring we all had to have in high school was our “class ring”… and what happened to that once you graduated…it ended up in the bottom of your jewelry box! Yep, I still have mine, and also even have my mothers, but what can I do with them, other than keeping them in my jewelry box. One piece of jewelry I never ever wore or wanted was a watch!

Remember the baby doll style dresses of the sixties, also referred to as grannie-style? I must have liked sewing at one time, as I sewed many baby-doll short outfits for me and my girlfriend Janet. I loved the grannie-style dresses and after all these years, I still have one rolled up in my drawer. I guess it was my favorite… and still have a photo of me in it when I was on stage with an old band…boyfriend. I’ll have to hunt those down, so check back!

I think I began wearing jeans when bell-bottoms came into style. Did anyone, besides me, fringe the bottom of your jeans? I loved doing that… sitting there with a needle just picking up the line of strings… line by line. What an easy way to hem your pants! I did all my long pants, as well as shorts when I cut my jeans.

Mini-skirts came into play while I was in high school, and they drove the teachers crazy! I’m surprised my mother let me wear them, as they were short!!! She even took up for me when one “male” teacher declared he would be carrying a ruler and measuring from our knees to the hem of our skirt… supposedly they could only be so many inches above our knees! My mother promptly marched to school and told him if he touched my knee, she would have his job! I don’t remember seeing him ever carry that ruler again.

Long hair was in style when I grew up and for most of my years, I had long hair. I kept my hair long when I married and while raising my kids… at one time I could literally sit on it. While it’s not really long now, I’ve never gone really short like others. I’ve never been a fan of having someone, other than me, even cut my hair! Some people enjoy sitting in the hairdresser’s chair and having their hair washed and cut… Not Me! My mother was a hairdresser and she’d often beg me to let her wash and trim my hair, but I’d refuse. At least when I cut it and cut it too short… I can only be mad at myself!


Granddaddy McKinley’s Farm in Siloam is one of the places that has always remained in my mind. We spent many weekends there, and while I had no one to play with, I found things to occupy myself with. It was there where I kept my BB gun, and probably got in more trouble over what I liked to shoot… granddaddy’s farm bell made nice ping sounds when hit! I had no restraint!

While I only had one dog at home, at the farm there were many dogs. The yard dogs were Smoker and Bill… and no one came into the yard without being announced… strongly by them; they were better than a security system. Granddaddy was a fox hunter and his best Walker dogs were fenced in, but not when I came… I loved to let them out. No matter how high granddaddy put those locks, I managed to climb up to unlock… he’d get quite mad, as when loose they wanted to run and took off chasing anything that moved. Mama still talks about how he’d walk through the house grumbling that I had let his dogs out and he had to now go round them up.

 There was just so much more to do at the farm, then at my house in the city… from swinging on the front porch, rambling through the barn, playing with the corn sheller, climbing on the big rocks around the farm, feeding the chickens, playing doodle bug under the car shelter, going with granddaddy to town, shooting my BB gun, teasing the bull, sitting on the back stoop with granddaddy in the evening whistling to the Bob White birds… just being there was fun! When I listen to my mother’s stories of growing up on the farm, I feel she had a better life of growing up there than she realizes.


My father was a big fisherman, whether it was a local lake, creek or the deep blue sea… he loved fishing. I liked to fish with him but often grew impatient if they weren’t biting. I had no patience to just sit and sit waiting for a bite. That’s probably why I didn’t go too often. I also didn’t like to bait my own hook… putting that live wiggly worm on the hook was just not right and I hated to see the worm wiggle!

Probably the last time I went fishing with daddy was under a bridge… fishing for catfish. I wasn’t there long before I spotted a snake swimming in the water… daddy’s pole went in the water and up the creek bank I flew to the car. He was so mad! I didn’t care that I lost his pole… I only cared about getting away from that snake. No more fishing for me after that.


As a kid, I don’t think I paid much attention to flowers as to whether I liked them or not. I couldn’t even have told you probably what mama had planted around our house; I’ve tried to close my eyes and visualize – but I see nothing! Mama tells me that she always planted an Ola Lily at every house we lived in. I have no memory of seeing them other than where she lives now, but I’ve seen a picture of them in Union Point.


The famous “Ola Lily”

When we moved to our house on Glen View Terrace, I became interested in flowers and dragged home a “suitcase” full of flowers every year from mama’s. It was a regular ritual the day before leaving… mama digging up flowers and bulbs for me to bring home. We tied and wrapped them in plastic and packed them in my “yellow” suitcase… brought specifically for plants. At that time, I didn’t know it was really Illegal to carry plants over state lines, but I guess they never x-rayed that suitcase! Today, I’d be afraid to do that! As I’ve gotten older, and more involved on the computer, and blogging, the flowering phase has slowly faded away… what I have, I have… not really adding anything new. The only flower I maintain every year is my Ola Lily bulbs… digging up in the fall, and re-planted every spring; they won’t weather over in CT.


Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2017: A to Z - All About Me, Daily Writings and funnies... and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 2017 A to Z: Letter F… All About Me

  1. Evelyn Smith says:

    Wonderful memories and yes, I remember many of those fads. Pantsuits, mood rings, bell bottoms, baby doll dresses, mini skirts. My brothers would not allow me to wear mini skirts.
    I didn’t have my ears professional pierced, either but neither did I use those piercer earrings. My brother’s wife did mine with a needle at home. We tried everything from freezing to using clothespins, with a towel in my mouth. A neighbor gave me earrings that you were supposed to twist several times during the day. Will never do that again.
    I look forward to all your stories, whether they be about you, your mother or whatever you happen to choose. You have such a way of putting words together.

    Liked by 1 person

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